Rama Krishna Sangem
TMC supremo and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s proposed meeting of opposition parties in New Delhi on June 15, Wednesday to finalize a common Presidential candidate from the opposition camp gets poor response. Already, the Left parties leaders – Sitaram Yechuri of CPI(M) and D Raja of CPI – have distanced themselves, while DMK supremo and Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin too is not keen on the meet.
Mamata Banerjee is hosting a luncheon at the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi to discuss the possibility of fielding a united candidate for the opposition for the Presidential elections slated to be held next month. A major reason for the Left’s stand is that they are the principal opposition to her in Bengal. Stalin who is in league with the Left in TN is not ready to hurt them and go with Didi.
TRS supremo and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) too may not go to Delhi, but depute someone from his party to Mamata’s meeting. Sources say, either Keshav Rao, RS MP or Nama Nageswara Rao, Lok Sabha MP, may go to Delhi.
So is the case with several other regional party leaders. Most them don’t take Mamata seriously for her mercurial ways of decision making, but at the same time they don’t like to hurt her by staying away from the meet. So, a middle path for them is to depute some middle rung leaders representing their parties.
“Mamata is new Mayawati, we cannot trust her completely, nor we can antagonize her,” remarked a leader from Shiv Sena while talking to media persons in Mumbai on June 13. Even when Mayawati was strong in Lok Sabha and UP assembly, not many in the opposition camp took her seriously, in view of her constant changing equations with the BJP. Now Didi too is in the same position.
Jagan blunted Opposition plans
YSR Congress president and Andhra CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has spoiled the plans of the opposition camp by extending his support to the ruling BJP in the Presidential election. Jagan along with Biju Janata Dal supremo and Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik have almost bailed out BJP in this round of Presidential elections. With their support, BJP can easily install its candidate in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan on July 25.
This is the reason why 81 year old NCP strongman and former union minister and former CM Sharad Pawar made it clear to his party seniors in Mumbai on June 13 that he won’t be a presidential candidate as BJP is in a comfortable position to win the post. He doesn’t want to be another Meira Kumar of Congress, who lost the presidential race last time. Precisely, there is no great enthusiasm in the Congress camp too to fight the presidential eleciton.
However, Pawar will be present at Didi’s meeting as an elder leader. At the best, this meeting will twist the arms of Congress to concede to a common non-Congress opposition candidate. A section of Congress leaders like Mallikarjuna Kharge and Digvijay Singh are insisting on fielding a Congress candidate for the president post while Sonia and Rahul may be open to a non-Congress opposition nominee to fight the polls.
After all, if it is a losing election, there is no harm in backing someone from smaller parties as the opposition candidate and claiming showing generosity for the sake of opposition unity. After Pawar exiting from the race, Mamata may name former union finance minister Yashwant Sinha for the presidential post. BJP on the other hand is expected to throw some surprise names for the posts of President and Vice-President.